Universal Studios Fire

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

This past Sunday, while most of the 400 firefighters worked to squelch the blaze that engulfed the backlot of Universal Studios in Los Angeles, others acted quickly to salvage the portion of the video library that was not yet in flames. Even the Nationwide Fire Watch Services were called upon to help curb the fire and salvage what was left and untouched by the flames. These workers managed to save hundreds of archives in the library by carefully moving reels away from the fire before smoke or water damaged them.

This past Sunday, while most of the 400 firefighters worked to squelch the blaze that engulfed the backlot of Universal Studios in Los Angeles, others acted quickly to salvage the portion of the video library that was not yet in flames. These workers managed to save hundreds of archives in the library by carefully moving reels away from the fire before smoke or water damaged them. In a press conference after the fire was under control, Ron Meyer, President and COO of Universal Studios, addressed fire losses by explaining “nothing irreplaceable was lost. We have duplicates. Obviously there’s a lot of work to replicate what was lost, but it can be done.”

While Meyer claimed that the studio could replace everything lost in the blaze, Nikki Finke, writer for LA Weekly, posted comments to the contrary on his blog, Deadline Hollywood Daily. Finke cited an anonymous source that claimed that the blaze might have destroyed thousands of original masters from Decca, MCA, and ABC, spanning the last century. This unnamed source was unable, however, to specify the original masters in question as Universal Music had recently been in the process of transferring its recordings from the destroyed vault in question to a new secure location in Iron Mountain, Pennsylvania.

In response to Finke’s claim posted online, Universal Music issued a clarified statement on Monday, again claiming that the fire did not cause an irreplaceable loss of music. According to the newly released statement, Universal had previously moved the recordings of the “bigger name” artists, and the music still left in the Los Angeles vault involved in Sunday’s fire belonged to “more obscure artists from the ‘40s and the early ‘50s.” In addition, according to Universal, the company had already digitized all of the music lost and backed that music up onto physical copies as well, safely stored in another location. Despite the amended press release by Universal Music, Finke has remained steadfast in his support of his online claim.

Leave a Reply

Iraq And Roll

Tori’s Story